We all want to do big things in our ministry. We want to cast a big vision and see a big God bring big results. That’s the way most of us think, and that’s good!
But thinking big often results in missing what’s really important – the little things that are the real fruit of our ministry. The little things that make a big difference and, when added up, bring the big impact.
It’s important that while we think big, we act small. Here are a few ideas:
Think Vision | Act Details
As leaders, we need to think beyond next Sunday. No, we don’t know exactly what will happen 6 mos. from now, or a year or 3 years. But if we don’t think in terms of vision, we’ll never accomplish it.
But successfully pursuing a great vision lies in the details. A house is built brick by brick, piece by piece, not all at once. Our vision will be accomplished as we tend to the details of that vision. We need to maintain a standard of excellence. We need to create systems & processes which facilitate our goals. We need to tend to individual needs as well as the collective needs of our kids, parents & volunteers.
Successfully managing details enables pursuit of a vision.
Think Program | Act People
Program is the structure within which we “do” ministry. It’s essential, necessary and important. We need to plan carefully and build a program fit for the vision of our ministry & the church.
But program should never take priority over people. As we’ve said many times, “ministry happens best through relationships”. So, while we need a solid program structure that clearly leads to our vision, we have to think in terms of the relationships that will make the big impact within that program structure. We need to think people (relationships) and create a culture that embraces this kind of thinking.
Think Equipping Parents | Act Engaging Kids
10’s, 100’s or 1000’s of kids come to our ministry every week. We are “children’s” ministry. We have to engage kids in order to make that time with them count. This means we have to care for them (physical, spiritual & emotional safety), teach them age-appropriately, have a spiritual formation plan within the structure of our program, and much, much more. We have to act in terms of engaging kids while they are with us in the church environment.
But, ultimately, who is responsible for the spiritual formation of children? Parents. This means the church as a whole and, specifically, those of us in children’s ministry, need to think in those terms. The result is finding ways to partner with parents to connect what happens at church with what happens at home. It means resourcing parents and sharing a vision for their responsibility with their kids. It means equipping them through practical teaching. It means to find ways to do this not only for traditional families, but for broken or blended families, as well. They are the ones who will have the greatest spiritual impact in the lives of their children.
Think Leaders | Act Volunteers
Leadership matters in children’s ministry. Without it, forget about your big vision. You & I need to be growing as leaders and our team needs to be growing as leaders. We need to develop leaders and create a leadership culture within our ministries. Your ministry will only rise to the level that you & your leadership team can take it.
But our team also needs to be able to do “the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). This means they need to be equipped – trained – to do the tasks that are involved with their role on the team. This might be teaching, or leading worship that engages kids, or taking care of the resource center. Whatever it is, they need to be equipped to do it.
Developing leaders & equipping volunteers go hand in hand.
Thinking big but acting small – both are important. Both matter. It is the leader that can do both that will lead a ministry to accomplishing a great vision in their church.